League One latest: Players at Portsmouth rivals Sheffield Wednesday 'considering handing in their notice' | Sunderland eye Premier League duo | Gillingham land Lee
Here’s the latest news emerging from League One, with one of Pompey’s rivals for promotion next season clearly having a lot to sort out before the season commences...
Sheffield Wednesday players consider walking away over unpaid wages
An unpaid wages situation at Sheffield Wednesday could reach new levels of anguish, with the Sheffield Star claiming a number of Owls players are considering handing in their notice.
According to our sister paper, a number of senior Wednesday players – who are contracted to the club going into next season in League One – are considering triggering their two-week written notice because of the issue.
Darren Moore’s side – like many other clubs – are battling the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, with revenue having been all but eliminated over the past 18 months.
The Star already reported that – after discussions between the English Football League, Professional Footballers Association and HM Revenue & Customs – Wednesday were one of several teams in the EFL who were considering putting playing staff on furlough.
Now, with Moore trying his best to put together a team capable of forming a promotion challenge, there are suggestions that the situation may be worsening.
Sunderland keen on Chelsea keeper
Sunderland are reportedly keen on a move for Chelsea goalkeeper Nathan Baxter.
That’s according to Football Insider, who claim the Black Cats are in the market for a new goalkeeper and that 22-year-old Baxter fits the bill.
Lee Burge was Sunderland’s No1 last season, racking up 46 appearances in all competitions.
However, he could face stiffer competition next term, with manager Lee Johnson apparently eyeing goalkeeping reinforcements as he plots a route out of the third tier.
Baxter, who is contracted to Chelsea until 2023, spent last season loan at Accrington, where he featured 16 times.
He is yet to make a senior appearance for the London Blues, spending the past five seasons out on loan.
Black Cats looking to seal £2m-rated defender move
The Black Cats are interested in making loanee Dion Sanderson’s Stadium of Light stay a permanent one.
According to the Daily Mirror, the League One play-off semi-finalists want to keep hold of the Wolves centre-back after he impressed during his 27 appearances for the club last term.
Efforts are reportedly already being made to extend his stay at Sunderland – and that’s despite the defender being priced at £2m player and interest from the Championship emerging.
Black Cats sporting director Kristjaan Speakman apparently hopes Sunderland’s existing relationship with Sanderson will give them the edge in the batle for his signature.
Gillingham see off rivals to land Lee
Steve Evans has claimed Gillingham saw off competition from League One rivals to land Hearts midfielder Olly Lee.
The 29-year-old, who has had three loan spells at Priestfield, is the Gills’ first signing of the summer and arrives on a free transfer.
The attack-minder player spoke ‘with several EFL 1 managers’ as he weighed up his next move.
And Evans admitted he was delighted Lee chose to extend his association with the Gills.
Evans told the clu website: ‘Olly has played an integral part in a great run of form the team delivered over the last two seasons.
‘He has taken his time to think everything through and has met up with several EFL 1 managers who were keen to sign him; at times last season he was simply outstanding.
‘He went away late last week with his young family for a few days to discuss his various options and I was delighted when he rang me to say he would love to come back to us on a permanent basis.
’We have talked for hours about football in these last few weeks, he is without doubt an excellent addition to the squad we are working really hard to put together.’